This worksheet describes how to send an email from Snap WebHost that includes personalised information for your respondents (e.g. their name). It does this by connecting the survey to a database which has respondent’s email addresses together with information about them. When you set up the email invitations in Snap, you add respondents details from the database into their invitation (and reminder) emails.

This worksheet tells you how to insert the name of the person you are emailing into an invitation.


When you upload a published survey to Snap WebHost, you upload the survey itself, any images used in the questionnaire and the information from the linked database that Snap WebHost needs to send out the emails.

The information in the email is kept separate from survey responses, so a response can be totally anonymous, even if the respondent is identified in the email.

If you realise that you need extra database fields in your email after you have uploaded the survey to Snap WebHost, you must add the new fields to the email in Snap Professional, republish and reload your survey.

This worksheet uses a simple Excel database to connect to.

Email Title Forename Last name Address Ms Jane Smith 345 Buzzell Road, Chicago IL 60444 Mr Tom Hutton 1522 Main Street, Sycamore, IL 60144 Mr David Davis 3211 Bow Street, Portsmouth, NH 60333

Summary of steps

Step 1: Connecting to the database
Step 2: Setting up the emails
Step 3: Publishing your survey with the database link

Step 1: Connecting to the database

You need to connect your survey to the database that holds the information about your respondents before you publish your survey. The data is then available to Snap WebHost when it sends out emails and reminders.

    1. Open the survey in Snap Professional.
    2. Select File | Database Link to display the Database Linkage dialog box.
    3. Click [New…] to create a new database link. The Database Linkage Wizard dialog is displayed.

      Webhost survey invites btn

    4. Select the WebHost Survey/Invites radio button then click  [Next>].

      Database customers

    5. Click [Select Database File…] and browse to the Excel or MS Access file containing the respondent IDs and data.

If you wish to connect to an Oracle or SQL database click [Build Data Link…] instead.

  1. The Select the Table to use drop-down automatically displays a table name. If this is not correct, select a different table from the list.
  2. Click [Next>].

Step 2: Setting up the emails

  1. You must now specify whether you are going to have email invitations to your survey and whether respondents log in. For this worksheet, just send invitations.

    Simple e-mail invitations

  2. Check Send simple e-mail invitations only and click [Next]. You move to the email invitations step of the database link wizard. This has two functions:
      • tells Snap WebHost which database field contains the respondent email addresses.
      • allows you to design the email that will be uploaded to Snap WebHost.

     Database linkage wizard forename here

  3. Check the Use HTML emails box to use different font styles and colours in your email.
  4. Select the appropriate database field for the email address in the drop-down list.
  5. Type the subject heading of your email in the first box.
  6. Now type your email message in the large box. When you want to insert the respondent’s name, click the [Insert] button and select Database Field from the list.
  7. The Database Field dialog opens. Select the database field containing the name from the dropdown list.

    Database linkage wizard forename insert

    The database field will be marked in blue.

  8. Write the rest of your email. When you reach the place where you want to insert the link to your survey, click [Insert] and select Survey Location. The Survey Location dialog opens.

    Survey location

  9. Enter the text you want to use as a link to the survey in the Link Text box (Click here is the default) and click [OK]. The link text is tagged in blue, and will be linked to the survey URL when it is uploaded to Snap WebHost.
  10. Click [Next]. You will see a summary of what the database link does.
  11. Enter a name for the link and click [Finish]. You will need to select the database link when you publish.

Step 3: Publishing your survey with the database link

  1. Select File|Publish or [Ctrl] + [Shift] + W to open the publish dialog.
  2. Select the Data link section in the left-hand panel. (Note that this is only available for a Snap WebHost edition.)
  3. Select the previously created link to the respondent database in the Database link drop-down list.

    Data link email invites

  4. Click [Publish]. Snap creates a zip file containing the published survey.
  5. Log in to Snap WebHost and click the Surveys tab. Click on the link Upload new survey . A new window opens.
  6. Browse to the .zip file containing the published survey and click [Open].
  7. Click [Upload archive] and the survey will be uploaded. The new survey will appear in the list of surveys.
  8. Click the survey link to open the survey.
  9. Select the Respondents tab. You should have an Address column containing your respondents’ email addresses, and a Enabled column showing if they will be sent emails. You can check to see if all the addresses are valid.

    Respondents tab

  10. Select the Messages tab. You can see your message. The database field will be enclosed in {}.

    Messages tab

    Click Test to send yourself a test message. (Snap WebHost will use the information in the first record in the database to complete the email).

    When you have received the message, check it. You can make changes to the text using the Edit link in Snap WebHost.


This worksheet has described how to put someone’s name in an email invite using a database.

If you would like to find out about inserting images in the survey, see the worksheet Putting a linked image in a Snap WebHost email.

If you would like to find out about setting up an invitation with an automatic login (so respondents can be identified) see the worksheet: Identifying your respondents in a Snap WebHost survey.

For reference information about what you need for the different types of database link, see Setting up a database link for respondents (for seed data, email invites and/or logins).

For reference information about the database linkage wizard, see Database link wizard dialog: database selection.

For reference information about the Snap WebHost email editor, see Using the email editor.

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